Satsuma

Satsuma

Plural:
Satsumas
Family:
Rutaceae – Citrus Family
Species:
Citrus unshiu

Origin

There are two theories regarding its origin: Either the first satsumas developed from original Chinese seeds on the Japanese island Nagashima, or it is a Spanish cross-breeding emanating from the classical mandarin.

Plant

The satsuma belongs to the varieties of the mandarins, like the tangerine. There are more than 100 species of satsuma, which differentiate in time of the ripeness, shape of the fruit and in the flavour. The shrubs grow in the Tropics, however they prosper better in cool subtropical climate zones. Their fruits mature earlier than all other mandarins.

Cultivation

A great deal of the Japanese citrus production accounts for the satsumas. Since the fruits are not suitable for storage, the cultivation countries — besides Japan also Spain — have tried to breed a variety matures earliers, so the harvesting season can be extended.

Importations

They are primarily imported from Spain and the Turkey, from August to January.

Fruit

Edible:
The flesh.
Inedible:
The treated peel.
Odour and flavour:
Similar to a mandarin, but sometimes a little mouldy.
Size and shape:
They are medium in size, flattened at the bottom; after peeling, a noticeable hollow space can be seen.
Peel:
It is bright orange, often with greenish spots, thin, somewhat leathery and can be easily separated from the flesh.
Flesh:
It is usually seedless, but there can be a maximum of 4 cores. It is orange coloured, gentle,juicy and lightly acidic.
Ripe fruits:
They can be peeled easily; they can be irregularly coloured.
Overripe fruits:
The peel begins to putrefy.
Unripe fruits:
It is difficult to peel.

Storage

Mature fruits can be stored for approximately 6 days at room temperature. Like all other citrus fruits, satsumas will not continue to ripen after the harvest.